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How funders can assess nonprofit effectiveness for investment

January 19, 2022

As with any investment, the decision to support a nonprofit should be grounded in empirical evidence. An organization is worthy of investment if it’s having a concrete, positive impact in the community and it’s run well enough to maintain operations... read more

Funding nonprofits’ cybersecurity, protecting donors’ investment: A commentary by Michael Tanji

January 18, 2022

Protecting donor impact by funding cybersecurity Consider this scenario: A nonprofit organization known for its ability to deliver lifesaving resources mobilizes in response to a natural disaster, but supplies do not arrive as scheduled. Attempts to remedy the situation are... read more

Going beyond community engagement, building community power: A commentary by Aditi Vaidya

January 14, 2022

Why does the country’s largest foundation dedicated to health and health equity care about community power? I get that question a lot when discussing our support of Lead Local, a collaboration funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to advance... read more

The connection between charitable tax benefits and benefits to charities has been broken: A commentary by Thomas Vozzo

January 10, 2022

Stalling charitable dollars hurts marginalized Angelenos ...As a former corporate executive and current CEO of Homeboy Industries, I have witnessed the impact of investing in the most marginalized members of our communities and helping them reenter society with the wraparound... read more

Funding international dialogue, peace, and security: A commentary by Frank Giustra

January 05, 2022

The cost of peace War is expensive. Bloody and expensive. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, conflict violence cost the world $519 billion in economic activity in 2019 alone. Add to that the human cost — some seventy-six... read more

Supporting artists in a time of crisis: A commentary by Maurine Knighton and Kerry McCarthy

December 30, 2021

Performing artists are in crisis due to COVID-19: Here’s how to help The arts play an essential role in American society — bringing joy to audiences, provoking thought and ideas, giving voice to those who are otherwise overlooked, teaching us... read more

The top ten philanthropy stories of 2021

December 28, 2021

For our final newsletter (subscribe here for our newsletters and alerts) of 2021, the editors at Philanthropy News Digest shared (in chronological order) the ten stories that we felt were particularly significant for philanthropy — both in the moment and... read more

Striking a balance in education philanthropy: A commentary by Annie W. Bezbatchenko and Tamara Mann Tweel

December 27, 2021

Achieving both breadth and depth in education philanthropy Picture a one-room schoolhouse. Ten children ranging in age from 6 to 12 years old are seated in front of a teacher who lives in their community. Now picture the Khan Academy.... read more

Improving higher education outcomes for single mothers: A commentary by Jennifer Zeisler

December 22, 2021

Investing in higher education for single mothers to transform the U.S. economy Before it’s too late, we must address a critical gap in this country’s economic recovery strategy: help for single mothers in college. These determined mothers understand the connection... read more

Building the political and civic power of historically excluded communities: A commentary by Christine White

December 20, 2021

Donating to civic engagement organizations is an investment in a thriving democracy As the nation approaches yet another midterm election cycle, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to invest in civic engagement year-round. This is perhaps some of... read more

The sustainable nonprofit: It’s about impact over output

December 16, 2021

Talking about outcomes, not outputs: How nonprofits can shift donors’ mindsets on funding Consider these two scenarios and pay attention to your initial reaction to each: Scenario 1: You’re making a $50 donation on a nonprofit’s website. Before you check... read more

The sustainable nonprofit: The world is not black and white

December 14, 2021

Pro vs. con, or can you find a home in the middle of a social issue? When you perform qualitative interviews with the general public, you realize two things very quickly: The world is not black and white, and people... read more

We need an integrated approach to serving homeless youth: A commentary by Melissa MacDonnell

December 13, 2021

Falling through systemic gaps: The invisible plight of youth experiencing homelessness Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 4.2 million young people in the United States were homeless. According to the Voices of Youth Count initiative at the University of Chicago’s Chapin... read more

Centering Black women and their lived experiences: A commentary by Stacey D. Stewart

December 09, 2021

Want to advance racial equity? Prioritize the needs of Black women This year, as we turn to philanthropic giving and think about how we can better invest in our communities, it is crucial that we center Black women and their... read more

'All that we hold sacred hung in the balance': A Q&A with Allie Young, Founder, Protect the Sacred

December 07, 2021

Allie Young is a citizen of the Diné Navajo Nation from the Northern Agency of the reservation in Northern New Mexico. She is founder of Protect the Sacred, which educates and empowers the next generation of Navajo and Indian Country... read more

'Start from the values and causes you care about': A commentary by Anne Welsh McNulty

December 06, 2021

Three end-of-year giving tips from someone who gives for a living Americans are incredibly generous. Individuals in this country donate more than $300 billion a year to charitable organizations — and more than 30 percent of that giving occurs between... read more

Support for first-generation college students beyond scholarships: A commentary by Andrew Davis and Sam Ritter

December 02, 2021

The power of private scholarships to fuel systemic change for first-generation college students The challenge Each year philanthropists invest $6.1 billion in private scholarships for more than 1.6 million students on their way to earning a college degree. Many of... read more

'A new platform for funding collaborative research': A Q&A with Margaret Goldberg, President and CEO, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

November 30, 2021

The newly appointed president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Maggie Goldberg, has spent twenty years with the foundation, providing leadership, management, and vision to help establish the only national paralysis-focused organization centered around a dual mission... read more

Rethinking traditional models, committing to an equity lens: A commentary by Amy Klement

November 29, 2021

Leading with learning: How we’re reimagining philanthropic impact in 2022 and beyond For those who work in philanthropy, the chaos that began in early 2020 have propelled more much-needed critical introspection than the field has ever faced. The inequities laid... read more

The sustainable nonprofit: NGOs and nonprofits are easy targets for cybercrimes

November 22, 2021

It’s time or NGOs and nonprofits to tighten their cybersecurity standards “We do not attack health care, education, charitable organizations, [and] social services,” said a representative of LockBit 2.0 (a prominent cybercrime gang) in an interview with the Russian YouTube... read more

'Working with the wider community to support teachers': A commentary by Richard Bernstein

November 16, 2021

Nonprofits must step up to support teachers There is a nationwide teacher shortage. This is as catastrophic for today's youth as it is for society's future success. Not all the issues teachers face can be fixed instantaneously, but we must... read more

'Philanthropic capital must play a bigger role in driving the systems shift we need': A commentary by Leslie Johnston

November 13, 2021

All hands on deck: Philanthropy's extraordinary moment Pressure is on here in Glasgow. Governments are rebalancing commitments so that they are on the right trajectory for alignment with the 2015 Paris agreement's targets. Business and industry are stepping up to... read more

Addressing global hunger — the equity challenge of our lifetime: A commentary by Barron Segar

November 11, 2021

Why global food security is the equity challenge of our lifetime For more than half a century, the global food system operated with a singular mantra: Produce more food.  At the time of the Green Revolution in the 1950s, much... read more

'Grounded in anger and in love': A Q&A with Richard R. Buery, Jr., CEO, Robin Hood

November 09, 2021

Richard R. Buery, Jr. succeeded Wes Moore as CEO of New York City-based Robin Hood in September, after serving as CEO of Robin Hood's community partner Achievement First, a network of thirty-seven charter schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode... read more

An urgent wake-up call for global biodiversity: A commentary by Jim Angell and Lee Crockett

November 08, 2021

Preserving ocean biodiversity begins with sharks In 2014, the first and most comprehensive survey ever conducted of world shark populations concluded that, as a result of overfishing, habitat destruction, illegal trade, and climate change, 16 percent of the ocean's most... read more

A unique opportunity for governments and place-based funders: A commentary by Darius Graham

November 05, 2021

ARPA's $350 billion opportunity and what philanthropy can do In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provides $1.9 trillion in funds across federal, state, and local governments. The funding streams are numerous and... read more

'The greatest opportunity to develop jobs in a generation': An interview with Paula DiPerna, Special Advisor, CDP North America

November 03, 2021

Author Paula DiPerna is a strategic global environmental and philanthropic policy advisor who has consulted with numerous environmentally focused nonprofit organizations, including WorkingNation, with which she is collaborating on a report that examines green jobs potential and workforce needs. She... read more

The sustainable nonprofit: Post-pandemic fundraising

November 01, 2021

The 'virtual' reality of post-pandemic fundraising events: Suggestions for the future In spring 2020, like so many in the nonprofit fundraising space, the organization I then worked for refashioned our large-scale luncheon to a virtual experience. A year later, with... read more

'Elements of a strong and sustainable funder-grantee relationship': A commentary by Susan Olivo and Brad Turner

October 29, 2021

Building long-term partnerships with nonprofits to scale impact: Lessons from sustained funding relationships Every foundation wants a nonprofit partner that shares in and will deliver on its mission. Every nonprofit wants to engage a funder that is willing to collaborate... read more

Health justice and participatory democracy: An interview with Hanh Cao Yu, Chief Learning Officer, California Endowment

October 27, 2021

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the California Endowment (TCE) had been working to move from Building Healthy Communities, its place-based initiative, to an effort that provides more flexible funding to the organizations and communities it works with to build... read more

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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